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2011 Bill James Cubs Projections

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The cover of the Bill James 2011 Handbook features the Reds' Joey Votto. Last year's edition featured the Rays' Evan Longoria, who went on to a fine year and led his team to the postseason. Let's hope that isn't the case for Votto in 2011.

Every year, James posts projections for future performance. His chapter this year, as it does every year, runs down both some of his biggest misses (mostly, from projecting players to play full-time and they didn't, either from injury or bad performance) and also the ones he got right. What's notable about this is that only one Cub -- Micah Hoffpauir -- is mentioned by James in either category. James projected Hoffpauir to be a useful spare part, hitting .276 with a .487 SLG in 156 AB with seven home runs.

That'd have been useful, all right, but it didn't come close. After the jump, some (not all) of the Bill James projections for Cubs hitters and pitchers for 2011.

Jeff Baker: .281/.336/.448 in 366 AB; 24 doubles, 11 HR, 51 RBI
(Comment: this one's likely to be a huge miss)

Marlon Byrd: .281/.339/.428 in 566 AB; 35 doubles, 14 HR, 72 RBI
(Comment: Looks about right)

Starlin Castro: .310/.359/.428 in 565 AB; 39 doubles, 4 HR, 60 RBI, 15 SB
(Comment: we'd all be real happy with this)

Tyler Colvin: .259/.307/.471 in 514 AB; 25 doubles, 24 HR, 75 RBI
(Comment: that'd be good, too)

Blake DeWitt: .252/.327/.372 in 341 AB: 17 doubles, 6 HR, 40 RBI
(Comment: I think he'll be better than this and get more time. You may disagree)

Kosuke Fukudome: .263/.367/.431 in 490 AB; 34 doubles, 14 HR, 60 RBI
(Comment: If this is it, they really do need to deal him)

Aramis Ramirez: .275/.342/.498 in 472 AB; 28 doubles, 24 HR, 89 RBI
(Comment: this is clearly influenced by his last two injury prone years. He'll be better)

Alfonso Soriano: .257/.317/.474 in 483 AB; 31 doubles, 24 HR, 66 RBI
(Comment: influenced by injury filled 2009; he will be better, I believe)

Geovany Soto: .276/.373/.486 in 434 AB; 29 doubles, 20 HR, 72 RBI
(Comment: works for me)

And, just for grins:

Adam Dunn: .247/.373/.511 in 587 AB; 31 doubles, 39 HR, 102 RBI
Adam LaRoche: .261/.333/.470 in 536 AB; 38 doubles, 24 HR, 86 RBI

Pitchers (note -- there was no projection given for Andrew Cashner):

Casey Coleman: 6-7, 4.11. 23 games, 15 starts, 114 IP, 44 BB, 59 K
(Comment: skewed by his relief appearances in 2010. If he makes the team, it'll be as a starter)

Ryan Dempster: 12-11, 3.83. 34 games, 34 starts, 199 IP, 89 BB, 192 K
(Comment: probably about right, except I think he can drop that ERA about half a run)

Tom Gorzelanny: 7-8, 4.06. 28 games, 26 starts, 133 IP, 56 BB, 106 K
(Comment: too low on the W-L record; like Coleman, he'll start if he's on the team)

Carlos Marmol: 6-4, 42 saves, 3.14. 79 appearances, 83 IP, 51 BB, 105 K
(Comment: too high on appearances and IP; too low on strikeouts)

Sean Marshall: 4-4, 0 saves, 3.84. 75 appearances, 68 IP, 25 BB, 56 K
(Comment: he'll probably pick up a random save or three. Also, the ERA looks too high)

James Russell: 2-4, 0 saves, 5.71. 61 appearances, 52 IP, 15 BB, 39 K
(Comment: they don't have a lot of data to go on. This could be one of their big misses a year from now, because I think Russell is on target for a big improvement)

Carlos Silva: 6-9, 4.80. 24 games, 24 starts, 133 IP, 25 BB, 61 K
(Comment: impossible to project, really, based on his injury history)

Randy Wells: 11-12, 4.12. 31 games, 31 starts, 211 IP, 65 BB, 152 K
(Comment: that projection gives him an average of seven innings per start. If so, he'll be a lot better than the projected numbers)

Carlos Zambrano: 14-11, 3.67. 33 games, 33 starts, 221 IP, 100 BB, 188 K
(Comment: too high on the walks, I think. I'm projecting Z to have a big year in 2011)

And just for grins:

Kerry Wood: 4-3, 25 saves, 3.48. 57 games, 62 IP, 28 BB, 69 K
(Comment: that'd be a decent year for him as a closer; he could possibly be one somewhere. Obviously, his numbers would be different in a setup role)